Talkers routinely scan the big metropolitan daily and other syndicate-owned publications because if mistakes aren't corrected quickly, misinformation has another week to fester. But a recent rash of geographical blunders have Talkers pondering the need for special issues just to keep north Mecklenburgers from questioning their own sanity.
What a surprise it was, speaking facetiously, for Talkers to learn that, among the Mecklenburg County areas sampled by a revaluation evaluation company, The Peninsula in Cornelius was among the neighborhoods used to fasten — via an ever-tightening turn of the wrist — gaps in the county's budget with unfairly, and often randomly, assessed property values.
The scene was Norman Rockwell-esque in nearly every detail. It was a depiction of Thanksgiving on the cover of Heads Up magazine, the official publication of the Beer Drinkers Of America, which a Talker regularly received in the mail while working at a prior publication nearly 20 years ago.
A quick online search seems to indicate that neither the magazine nor the organization still exist, but the coming of Thanksgiving started a discussion of family traditions for the holiday. In the depiction on that particular cover of Heads Up, a smiling grandma was proudly displaying the golden roasted turkey as smiling family members sat at the table, each hoisting a large glass mug of the frosty malted adult beverage of their choice.
As if that weren't peculiar enough, one of the guests sitting at the table was an African-American man who bore a striking resemblance to actor Robert Guillaume — did we mention the rest of the group was caucasian? — inexplicably holding in his lap a violin.
Each Thanksgiving holiday season to this day, the recollection of this image still haunts one Talker in particular who never has, and probably never will, comprehend the symbolism of a beer-swilling family of uber-white people about to guzzle their Thanksgiving appetizer joined by a black man holding not a mug, but a fiddle.
Well, Talkers say, to each his — and to you your — own. Happy Thanksgiving.
Davidson North Campus?
Several decades ago, the Baltimore Colts used the cover of darkness to spirit away to Indianapolis, the entire contents of the franchise packed into a handful of Mayflower moving vans. It's not easy to be sneaky, Talkers imagine, when moving a National Football League team's operation, but Talkers were stunned to discover last week that Davidson College managed to move its entire campus to Troutman with nobody noticing.
In a story about the Davidson Wildcats basketball team in the official daily newspaper in a major city that lies just south of here, it was written, about head coach Bob McKillop's crew, "If you're looking for a team built on finesse, you won't find it on the northern edge of Lake Norman." So THAT's what that $40 million grant the college recently received from the Duke Foundation was all about, Talkers thought for a brief moment.
But Talkers applied their investigative skills and confirmed, from their stake-out position at a table on the sidewalk outside of Toast Cafe that, indeed, students were still reporting to class at the campus across North Main Street, as the crow flies about a mile east of the southeast corner of Lake Norman.
The article's author, who is also the paper's chief golf writer, may well know his way around Charlotte's country clubs, but the geography of the northern hinterlands, as is typically the case with the denizens south of I-85, remains confounding.
Talkers, as a guideline more than a hard-and-fast rule, usually swerve away from politics as a topic because, well, to each his own. But this week's results in the Iredell County Board of Commissioners race — granted, just the latest and closest-by example of straight-party-ticket voting gone horribly awry— scream for comment.
She's no lady
Has anything in America been talked about more in the past week than "Frankenstorm" Sandy? It's only appropriate that the freak storm haunted virtually the entire East Coast as we all prepared for Halloween.
A Checkered Record
Talkers receive quite a large number of press releases, but occasionally one comes along that really captures their attention. So it was with one last week that arrived with a half-dozen copies of The Checkered Record, a CD of original "music" by Davidson resident Alex Wasowicz, better known in the burgeoning Davidson folk/hip hop/electronica/rock/pop/half-singing-half-talking musical scene as Alex Doubleyou.
Keeping it in neutral
Talkers do their best to publicly stay out of politics, but sometimes politics are brought to them. So it was earlier this week when a reader called in to complain about us endorsing Mitt Romney for president. Puzzled, Talkers inquired as to the nature of the complaint.
Home sweet dome?
Continuing to suffer from delusions of grandeur following the self-heralded success that was the Democratic National Convention — North Carolina being a swing state and a bargain basement price had nothing to do with locating it in Charlotte, of course — civic and other leaders were reportedly headed to the National Football League office this week to find out from the commissioner what it would take for Charlotte to host a Super Bowl.
Watching Sunday's Carolina Panthers victory over the New Orleans Saints, Talkers were struck by what was obviously a bizarre promotion for the team's home opener in Charlotte. As the cameras panned the stands during the fourth quarter, it seemed about half of the fans were wearing the free T-shirts handed out at the gate that closely resembled empty blue and gray seats.
Live from Air Citizen 1
For years now, Talkers have lobbied unsuccessfully for the addition of a helicopter to enhance news coverage. What better way, the argument goes, to really get down to the nitty-gritty of what's happening on the ground than by providing a remote, bird's-eye perspective completely out-of-touch with the events unfolding below.